Swiss bid for UN Security Council seat

12th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland said Wednesday it was bidding for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2023-2024, saying membership would help raise its profile as an "honest broker."

"Today, the Federal Council has decided to register Switzerland on the list of candidates of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2023-2024," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

"Membership of the Security Council would give Switzerland a platform to pursue its interests in the field of peace promotion and to raise its profile as an honest broker and bridge-builder," it added.

Switzerland joined the United Nations only in 2002, becoming the 190th member of the world body. This marks the first time that it is bidding for a Security Council seat.

As a neutral state, Switzerland has played mediator in several conflicts and also represents the interests of certain countries locked in conflicts. Notably, it represents the United States in Iran and Cuba. It also represents Russia in Georgia.

The Security Council is made up of five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- who can veto any resolution. In addition, there are 10 non-permanent members.

© 2011 AFP

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